Almost all Finns have too much fat in their diet.
According to the latest FinTerveys survey by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, the intake of saturated or hard fat exceeds the recommendations by as many as 90 percent of Finns.
- Only 3% of Finnish men and only 6% of women have enough low-fat fat in their diet. Almost all of us have to look in the mirror in this matter, Ursula Schwab, professor of nutrition therapy at the University of Eastern Finland, said in our previous story.
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This amount is recommended
Hard fat is especially found in fatty dairy products such as cheeses and butter, as well as fatty meats and meat products. Of the vegetable fats, coconut and palm oil contain a lot of hard fat.
According to nutritional recommendations, hard fat should make up no more than 10% of your daily energy, which is equivalent to about 20-30 grams of fat.
This is how you distinguish healthier fat from unhealthy one
Tuija Pusa, the nutrition expert of the Heart Association, emphasizes that quality is crucial when using fat. If you have too much hard fat in your diet, you should start replacing it with unsaturated or soft fats.
Soft fats are found in vegetable oils such as canola and olive oil, vegetable oil-based margarines, fish, avocado, and nuts and seeds.
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A practical way to distinguish healthier fats from unhealthy ones is to look at their composition at refrigerator temperature.
- A fat product rich in hard fat is solid and hard at refrigerator temperature. If, on the other hand, the product has a lot of soft fat, it is fluid and oily even in the refrigerator.
8 Reasons to Reduce Hard Fat
Nutritionist Tuija Pusa talked about 8 health benefits you can get by improving the fat quality of your diet:
1. Cholesterol is lowered
Reducing hard fat and replacing soft fat specifically lowers harmful LDL cholesterol. More than half of Finns have elevated LDL cholesterol.
2. Sugar metabolism improves
Fat exchange also affects blood sugar levels. Insulin function is improved in the body, which has a positive effect on the prevention of type 2 diabetes or the balance of treatment of an already existing disease.
3. The risk of heart disease is reduced
The risk of developing cardiovascular disease and myocardial infarction is reduced. If you already have coronary heart disease, recurrent coronary heart disease events are reduced.
4. Brain health improves
Arteries are also present in the brain, and their good condition has a positive effect on memory as well as other cognitive functions and the prevention of cerebrovascular disorders.
5. Low-grade inflammation is reduced
Fat repair extinguishes low-grade inflammation, which is a constant mild inflammatory condition in the body.
6. You get the essential fatty acids
Soft fat contains essential fatty acids. The quality of the fat affects the cell membranes as well as the function of the cells and thus many functions of the body - for example, the nervous system and vision.
7. Arterial health improves
There are arteries all over the body, and their condition affects, for example, potency and the prevention of memory disorders.
8. The condition of the skin and bones may improve
Soft fat also has an important effect on skin health. According to the latest research, the recommended quality of fat is also beneficial for bone condition and helps maintain muscle mass in the elderly.
Sources: THL, Finnish Nutrition Recommendations 2014, Finnish Heart Association.